Welcome to comp.lang.c!

This post is intended to give the new reader an introduction to reading and
posting in this newsgroup. We respectfully request that you read all the way
through this post, as it helps make for a more pleasant and useful group for

If you are new to newsgroups in general, you can learn a lot about
how to get the most out of newsgroups by reading the links below:

With that said, please keep in mind that comp.lang.c is a group for discussion
of general issues of the C programming language, as defined by the ANSI/ISO
language standard. If you have a problem that is specific to a particular
system or compiler, you are much more likely to get complete and accurate
answers in a group that specializes in your platform. Some common ones are:

Languages and Programming

  news:comp.lang.c++                        The C++ Programming Language
  news:comp.lang.asm.x86                    x86 assembly language programming
  news:comp.programming                     Non-language specific programming
  news:comp.graphics.algorithms             Issues of computer graphics


  news:gnu.gcc                              The gcc free C compiler
  news:comp.os.msdos.djgpp                  x86 version of the free gcc C compiler

Operating Systems

  news:comp.os.msdos.programmer             DOS, BIOS, Memory Models, interrupts,
                                         screen handling, hardware
  news:comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.misc   MS/Windows: Mice, DLLs, hardware
  news:comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.win32  MS 32-bit API  
  news:comp.os.os2.programmer.misc          OS/2 Programming
  news:comp.sys.mac.programmer.misc         Macintosh Programming
  news:comp.unix.programmer                 General Unix: processes, pipes, POSIX,
                                         curses, sockets
  news:comp.unix.[vendor]                   Various Unix vendors
  news:comp.os.linux.development.apps       Linux application programming

The FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) list has a wealth of information for
both the new and veteran C programmer. No matter what your experience level,
you are encouraged to read the entire list, if only to familiarize yourself
with what answers are available to minimize redundant replies. The list may
be ftp'd from rtfm.mit.edu, or an online version is available at
"http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html". A handy list of subjects with
HTML links is available at the end of this post.

If the FAQ list does not help, then many regular readers of this group are
happy to assist with problems of standard C. We have only a few requests
that we ask be adhered to, for the benefit of all:

   * Please put a short summary in the subject line. Descriptions such as
     "HELP!!!!!!" are not helpful, and many regular posters ignore such
     requests. A good example is, "Problem with pointers and arrays."
   * State the question or the problem clearly and concisely. Describe what
     you are trying to do, and the problem you are running into. Include all
     relevant error messages.
   * Include the smallest, complete and compilable program that exhibits
     your problem. As a rule, posters in comp.lang.c will not do homework,
     but will give helpful hints if you have shown some willingness to try a
   * comp.lang.c is forum for discussion, and as such some regular posters
     do not give E-mail replies. Very often follow-ups to postings have
     corrections, so plan on taking part in the discussion if you post a
     question. If you do receieve e-mail replies, it is considered polite to
     post a summary.

A note on comp.lang.c etiquette: Accuracy is valued very highly in this
newsgroup; therefore posts are frequently corrected, sometimes perhaps too
harshly, and often to the annoyance of new posters who consider the
correction trivial. Do not take it personally; the best way to fit in with
comp.lang.c is to express gratitude for the correction, move on, and be more
careful next time.

This is a very busy group, so these requests are designed to make it as
pleasant and efficient an experience as possible. We hope it proves a
valuable commodity to you.


In addition to comp.lang.c, there is a great deal of information about C
programming available on the World Wide Web.

Probably the definitive list of C resources on the web is Lysator Computer
Society's Hotlinks to C Resoures: "http://www.lysator.liu.se/c/c-www.html".

Many code snippits (algorithms) are available from the "snippets" collection
by Bob Stout. It's available from http://www.snippets.org/ , or
alternatively via ftp from ftp.cdrom.com in /pub/algorithms.

Web searches can often turn up source code more efficently than asking for
it. Try "http://www.altavista.com", or "http://www.hotbot.com".

Google  allows efficient searching of Usenet. It is very likely that your 
query was covered recently, and the answer is only a search away. Try

   * The comp.lang.c Frequently Asked Question subject list

The FAQ list is maintained by Steve Summit (scs@eskimo.com). An excellent,
much-expanded book version is also available; "C Programming FAQs",
published by Addison-Wesley.

The HTML version is located at "http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html".
It may be ftp'd from "ftp://rtfm.mit.edu" in the directory /pub/usenet.

The individual sections may be conveniently reached directly by using the
following links:

Declarations and Initializers http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s1.html

Structs, Unions, and Enums      http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s2.html
Expressions                     http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s3.html
Pointers                        http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s4.html
Null Pointers                   http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s5.html
Arrays and Pointers             http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s6.html
Memory Allocation               http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s7.html
Characters and Strings          http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s8.html
Boolean Expr's and Variables    http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s9.html
C Preprocessor                  http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s10.html
ANSI/ISO Standard C             http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s11.html
Stdio                           http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s12.html
Library Functions               http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s13.html
Floating Point                  http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s14.html
Variable-Length Argument Lists  http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s15.html
Strange Problems                http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s16.html
Style                           http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s17.html
Tools and Resources             http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s18.html
System Dependencies             http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s19.html
Miscellaneous                   http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s20.html


Tim Behrendsen extensively revised an early version of this article,
translating my ramblings into fairly coherent English. Most of the
regulars of c.l.c have made useful suggestions at one time or another.

Numerous others have made helpful suggestions to improve this post;
I fear that if I were to list them all, the size of the post
would double! You know who you are. ;)

Feedback on this post is always welcome. Please send it to

Billy Chambless  <bchambless@psistennis.com>

 ... or post to the group. 

[ last changed:  Mon  4 Feb 2002 ]
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